Education - Inspiration - Enjoyment
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Look Good & Feel Good at The eden Project:
The beneficial uses of plants throughout history

Three successive days of drop-in art workshops held at The Eden Project as part of the Eden Project's "Look Good, Feel Good" season.

Snapdragon Workshops were asked to provide visitors to the Eden Project with an opportunity to learn about the variety of ways plants have been of fundamental importance to mankind over the millennia to make us "look good and feel good". We therefore provided an extensive exhibition of pictures, text, plants, music, objects and display paraphernalia to explore such themes as:

  • The ancient uses of plants for body decoration in the form of temporary and permanent face and body paints, tattooing, and dyeing clothes
  • How all geographically disparate cultures have studied their indigenous plants not just for culinary uses but also for therapeutic and medicinal purposes
  • The botanical researches undertaken in Ancient Egypt, India, Asia, China and Europe over thousands of years
  • How the Ancient Egyptians used plants for medicine, cosmetics and brewing as well as for food
  • Herbalists and herbals through the ages, the development of witchcraft and apothecaries
  • Plus the use of incense, henna, aphrodisiacs, aloe vera, Bach flower remedies, aromatherapy, the beneficial effects of drinking tea and how you can grow herbs in the garden to day and use them in the home

    As well as providing the above exhibition, Snapdragon Workshops provided appropriate books for visitors to browse through, and also provided handouts to take home on the following themes: Busy Bees and their Honey, Aphrodisiacs, Wine as Medicine and the Druidic and Roman uses of plants, - plus wordsearches and colouring-in sheets.

    We also provided all the materials (coloured paper, card, tissue paper, pens, pencils, crayons, charcoal, ribbon, wool and string) and lots ideas for the following "learning through creativity" activities, suitable for all age groups:

  • Celebrate and Decorate: Paper face shapes to decorate with "body art". Tribal African faces, Ancient Egyptian faces, Witches faces, Roman ladies faces - which will you decorate? Learn about their perception of beauty, their cosmetic techniques and artistic symbolism. The faces can then be turned into masks. Using crayons, pencils, pens and charcoal.

  • Hands up for Henna: Draw around your hand or foot on some card, cut it out, and decide what style henna pattern you would like to have adorning your body - and draw it down. Different patterns were used for different reasons and ceremonies. Henna has a cooling effect on the skin, so it helped people in hot countries to feel good as well as look good!

  • Flower Power: Make three-dimensional pop-up cards of edible or medicinal flowers, and maybe draw the insects that pollinate them.

  • Drawing plants with plants: Use some charcoal to sketch out your plant studies. Choose a plant from around the room that you like and take the time to look at it very, very, closely for the very first time. You'll be amazed at what you'll see!

  • Busy Bees Worksheet: Learn about how important our bees were, and still are, to our everyday health and happiness - keeping us looking good and feeling good! They have been celebrated for their honey, wax, royal jelly and pollinating work for thousands of years. Look at the plants they particularly like and discover why. Most importantly, learn how we can help bees today.

  • A snail Trail Through History: A worksheet that is fun and informative, celebrating snails and their uses. They brought healing to the Tudors, were the celebration of the sun and the moon for the Celts and Pagans, and of course a food source for the Romans! Slimy snail facts that will make you think again about Looking Good and Feeling Good!

  • Sit back and study plants with the help of plants: Pick up a book (all paper and cardboard made from plant fibres!) and take the time to read something a little different. Who knows what little "seed" of information you'll pick up as you "root" around, "leafing" through the books!

    The aim of the activities was to give visitors a choice of the following:

  • To read and learn from the posters or the books about the vital role of the plant kingdom throughout history, and the ability of specific plants to make us look good and feel good
  • To study examples of plant species that are useful to us in our everyday lives
  • To create their own piece of plant-inspired artwork to take home
  • Or to join us for a chat to discuss any queries they had.

    The information laid out in the display provided access to information for all learning styles and abilities including the hard of hearing, the visually impaired, and wheelchair users. We always try our best to include everybody by using a wide range of equipment, information and specimens that stimulate as many of the senses as possible. We aimed to provide a fun, friendly, and relaxed atmosphere that would generate a positive attitude towards the plant kingdom, along with a closer understanding of the shapes, colours, textures, and history of plants through creative activities. Risk assessments were of course undertaken for all of the activities provided.

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  • Please note that everyone appearing in photos on this website has given their permission, and childrens' parents have signed forms giving pernmission.

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